A Message From Our President, Bill Brater, Regarding The Covid-19 Virus
March 18, 2020
Like most small businesses in the country, we’re actively discussing and taking precautions for COVID-19 (aka the Coronavirus). As your well-being is always a top consideration at Nicholson Funeral Home, we thought it was a good idea to share with you how the Coronavirus is affecting our industry. We also are including information from the National Funeral Directors Association and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The Effect on Services
We have already encountered families who have chosen to postpone, modify or cancel services due to the outbreak. We are working closely with families to determine what’s most appropriate considering their particular circumstances. The CDC recommends that there be no public gatherings of over 10 people for the next eight weeks, so we encourage private or family-only services for the time being.
Nicholson has the ability to live-stream our services from our main location at 135 E. Front Street, Statesville NC 28677. This allows families to host a smaller in-person gathering and have extended family, friends and colleagues participate, while also following the current guidelines for “social distancing.” Our streaming ability creates a sense of unity for the service, so people both near and far can be a part of it.
The live-streaming service is an option for those with family members and friends who want to take part in a service, but do not feel comfortable traveling far distances or even leaving their homes while the Coronavirus affects the country. For the foreseeable future, our live-streaming services will be free of charge to accommodate our customers during these uncertain times.
Phone and In-home Arrangements
While our staff is diligent about cleaning public areas and offering hand sanitizer throughout our funeral home, we are also able to make arrangements over the phone. Alternatively, if you prefer not to visit our offices, or work over the phone, we will send a licensed funeral director to your home.
Your Questions Answered
The Coronavirus spread brings lots of questions—some related to funeral and cremation services, as well as those who succumb to the virus. Here are the answers to some of the top questions we’ve heard:
Is It Safe To Attend a Funeral of Someone Who Died With The Virus?
The short answer is yes. According to the CDC, “There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.” However, “People should consider not touching the body of someone who has died of COVID-19.”
For now, public gatherings the size of a visitation or funeral and cremation service are not canceled, but we will follow the recommendations or requirements of local authorities as the situation continues. The CDC, however, has suggested limiting any gatherings to 10 persons.
Can Someone Who Dies With The Virus Be Buried or Cremated?
Yes, someone who dies carrying the Coronavirus can still be cremated or buried as per the family’s wishes, but the CDC recommends funeral homes check “for any additional state and local requirements that may dictate the handling and disposition of the remains of individuals who have died of certain infectious diseases.”
Precautions Being Taken at Nicholson Funeral Home
While we are not on the front lines like health care workers, we must be able to maintain adequate staffing levels so we can continue to care for the deceased. To help prevent infection with Coronavirus and other illnesses, our staff has been educated and is taking the recommended precautions including the following:
• Staff meetings are taking place over the phone and online.
• Washing hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water. If unavailable, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Covering mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue during a sneeze or cough.
• Avoiding close contact, or practicing “social distancing” (touching or shaking hands) with people.
• Avoiding touching mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.
• Staying home when sick.
• Getting adequate sleep and eating well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.
• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
With things evolving daily, we are trying to stay on top of the COVID-19 Pandemic and keep our staff and visitors safe. Our dedicated team and the families we serve are our top priorities.
We are currently monitoring the situation and working to develop additional policies as the situation progresses. Our team is ready to go over our precautions with you and answer any questions you have.
Bill Brater - President
Nicholson Funeral Home
135 E Front Street, Statesville NC 28677 V 704-872-5287 F 864-269-5075